Dinah was Raped by Shechem

34: 1-31

Dinah was the daughter of Leah, and therefore, a member of the less appreciated portion of Laban’s family. Jacob had never loved Leah as much as he did Rachel (29:30), and eventually he favored Rachel’s children, Joseph and Benjamin, more than those of Leah. Such favoritism had plagued the family since the days when Isaac favored Esau and Rebekah favored Jacob, and preferential treatment would continue to be the source of considerable trouble throughout the rest of Genesis.

In addition, the hazards of intermarriage with the pagan Canaanites are always an issue in Genesis. Abraham had been concerned that Isaac might marry outside the patriarchal family, like Ishmael had (21:21, 24:3-4), and Esau had disappointed his parents with marriages to unbelieving Hittites (26:34-35, 27:46, 28:8). The danger of Jacob’s prolonged stay at Shechem, so near to his ultimate destination of Bethel, was not very wise.

Bad things can happen to anyone. Even good people are victimized or affected by disaster. But how people respond to the difficulty exposes their true character. Unfortunately Jacob’s response revealed indifference toward Dinah, and his leadership as the head of the family was missing in action.518 By not going to Bethel as ADONAI had commanded, Ya’akov was endangering others far more vulnerable than himself.519 It is no accident that the name of God is completely absent from this section.

 

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